“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Photographic Cooperation Needed!

You may have noticed that most of our farm friends are quite photogenic...
and even better, don't seem to mind posing for frequent portraits.

All, that is, except for the daffy Runner Ducks...
whose goal in life is to be anything less than cooperative...
in any given matter!
Most of all... photographs!!

We finally devised a way to get them to leave the safety of their stall,
at least for short periods of time.
We moved their food and water out to the front of the barn.
Now they must walk the eight feet from their stall in order to eat.

Judging from the condition of their water,
they do this quite frequently...
just not when anyone is close enough to document it.

I tried, in vain, every possible hiding place in order to photograph them out of their stall.
It was an hour long exercise in futility.
How they could have known I was there as I stealthily (and silently)
moved from location to location,
I'll never know.
I guess they can just sense my presence.

As soon as I walked over to the garden and was photographing the happenings there,

those daffy ducks emerged from their stall and began munching food.
Too far for me to focus through the garden fence,
I at least caught their ghostly figures in this...

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On Any Given Day

I could start just about every post by saying...
"Life on the farm is never boring...."

it never is!

On the quieter days, Mother Nature offers up her magical displays...

with colors as brilliant as can be!

And then of course there are the days when any number of unforeseen
things might happen....

especially with a menagerie such as ours!

Here is the story of one such day:

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A Long Holiday Weekend

What a busy holiday weekend it was here on the farm.
We had a big Independence Day celebration on Saturday in the picnic pavilion.

For several days last week, I baked, cooked and prepped food.

We mowed and trimmed and decorated the pavilion 

in preparation for our four-generation friends and family celebration.

It was our first make-your-own pizza party of the season...

with smoked chickens, Greek tortellini salad, broccoli salad, black bean taco salad, three bean salad, deviled eggs, and fruit and veggie trays as well.
And assortment of desserts topped of the meal.
As did the 45 minute torrential shower!

I think Tyler's best part of the day was playing in the shower...

Mackenzie made lots of new friends...

 and showed off her shuffleboard skills...

We discovered through bubble play that she prefers her friends to be very clean!

She washed every exposed inch with bubbles.
If you have little ones... homemade bubbles are the best!
I use:
6 cups water
1 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid
¼ cup corn syrup
2 tbs. glycerine

This makes huge, long-lasting bubbles... and it helps to have a big bubble wand.

Before Sunday morning's sun rose on the farm, we were pretty sure we were going to have
another new member of...

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A Special Firecracker for the Fourth

Happy Fourth of July, friends!
I am just stopping in for a quick visit.

You see, we have had this little one with us here at the farm since Saturday.

She now has a new baby brother born Sunday evening.
Meet Easton Frederick,
7 lbs.  15 oz.

He has ten precious fingers and ten precious toes...
and everything is exactly where it is supposed to be!
Mama and Daddy and baby are healthy, and happy to be on this side of the delivery.
I am so excited that we have another little pirate to add to our merry band.

Miss Mackenzie is just a little confused by all of this at the present time.
It won't be long, though, until she understands how important a big sister can be!

We will be back tomorrow with more farm tales to share.
For now, though, we are going to just enjoy our new little firecracker!
Happy Independence Day, dear friends!

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Tucking In The Sheep and Pigs

Every evening before sundown,
I call the sheep and the pigs in from the pasture.

They love to graze in the evening, when the temperature has dropped and the sun 
is no longer shining in the pasture.

I suppose I could let them out grazing all night,
but I feel like they are safer in their yards for the night...
and there is plenty of grazing available to them in their yards as well.

Sheep are voracious grazers and excellent lawnmowers...

Come with me...and we will bring them in....

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How To Live An Extraordinary Life

I have lived an extraordinary life.
But let me say this... it would have been extraordinary no matter what my circumstances,
because I chose for it to be so.

Now, you might say..."Well that's easy to say when you live in such a beautiful place!"
And yes, that's true.
But this place has not always looked like this.
Yes it is beautiful, green countryside... but it took a long time to get it to where it is now...
lots of time and lots of effort... hard work.
And it takes hard work to keep it that way.
Every single day... work.

This kind of hard work is not for everyone.
For me, however, it is the key to a life of satisfaction.
I am happy to be exhausted at the end of every day...
it's the evidence of a day well spent.
For me.

As for life being extraordinary...
I choose to see it this way.
I am grateful each morning when I open my eyes to another sunrise...
to the sound of birds singing...
to a breeze tickling the hairs on my arms...
to the taste of a ripe berry...
to the smell of a blossom.

All of these things are extraordinary.
It's the little things that make life great.

Yes, we all suffer pitfalls.
We are not strangers to illness, to sadness, to worries, to aging, and ultimately to death.

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Welcome to the Neighborhood

Yesterday afternoon, as I was driving down our road,
I saw this out of the corner of my eye.

I continued home and grabbed my camera and returned for a closer look.

It seems we have a new neighbor to welcome to the neighborhood!
Welcome little one... you look so tired.
It's an exhausting trip you just made to enter this world.

It's so good that your Mama is standing watch over you as you rest.

There is nothing like a newborn...no matter what the species!
Precious... full of so much potential!
A whole new world awaits you, little one!

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Peaceful Pond Life

The sun is up, but hidden by the hill that rises from across the road.
The air is cool and filled with the song of the wood thrush.
We drive the gator down the long driveway as several bunnies dart
and run... startled by the sudden presence of our dogs.

It's morning and we are headed out to attend to the first chores of the day.
We know not what awaits us as we head out to find our farm friends.
There are surprises each and every day...
wonders and mysteries of nature that delight us and inspire us as we work.

Our first stop each morning is the pond.
Here we find our Muscovy ducks awaiting our arrival on top of the duck hut.

They roost here each night,
then hop off in the morning to enjoy the breakfast we bring them.

On this particular morning, they nibble on the rooftop moss
before hopping down for their food.

After breakfast, they find their way to the water
and begin the process of bathing and preening.

We were surprised to see them diving under the water,
only to re-surface about 30 feet from where they submerged.

I'm not sure what they are doing under water,
but when they emerge, they shake themselves dry,
then stretch out of the water, flapping their wings vigorously.

They meet each new day...

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Compost Tomatoes

For those of you suffering in the heat...
you have my sympathy.
Happily, we have avoided extreme heat as of yet.
But, summer is not over.

The heat is hard on the animals as they have no way to escape it.
We try our best to keep them comfortable, but there is only so much we can do.
So, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this wonderful summer weather
that we have experienced thus far will continue.
The garden has flourished with the perfect sunshine/rain balance...

Green Echinacea, my favorite!
More heat is needed, however, to ripen all of our tomatoes.
We have lots on the vine, but none are even thinking about turning red.

Curiously, two of our compost piles have their own gardens growing.
These two piles have been ready for spreading on the hay field, 
but I am waiting to see what grows from these piles.

On one there are about 50 tomato plants...

and at the base of the other are several pumpkin vines.

These piles are many months old and produce no more heat.
They have essentially turned into soil.
My question is this...
Would you eat tomatoes that were grown on the top of an old compost pile?

If you have a few extra minutes and would like to see the garden...
here is an updated tour:

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The Emergence... Captured!

Thanks to Hubbs' ingenuity I finally got some great pictures of the Runner Ducks...
they were out of the barn!!

He put the game camera on a post outside the barn...

catching great candid photos of our daffy girls.
There was a blog comment a few weeks ago saying that they look as though
they have their  hands in their pockets.
Now, whenever I look at them, that makes me laugh!

And, by the way, these three girls (and I had thought one was a boy!)
 are laying three eggs almost daily!

They are getting much less shy around us now,
no longer scampering back into their stalls at the sight of us.
Eventually they will learn that their world is not a scary one.

You might notice all of the duck poop in the aisle of the barn.
Thanks to these messy girls, I have to hose out the aisle a few times each day!

Friday was Tyler's last day with us, and finally the sun shone.
He was so proud of himself...
(picture, compliment of same game camera!)

leading Red the whole way from the upper most pastures back to the barn.
Oh my... they grow up way too fast!

Saturday took us to a winery about an hour north of us for the wedding of a dear friend.
It was a beautiful day and a beautiful venue.

I just had to show you...

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Christmas Eve Preparations

Christmas Eve is here and my day will be filled with baking and some last minute gift-wrapping while waiting for Hubby to get home from work. The utility company he works for lets them off a half-day with a full days' pay, so he doesn't mind having to go in for just a few hours. :) Once he gets home, we will be traveling to spend time with family, then on the road again tomorrow.

I made a big batch of hot tamales for my family get-together... I've been asked before if this is some way we celebrate a family heritage and the answer is no~ it simply started many years ago when my mom and her two sisters wanted a break from the usual holiday ham and turkey, so they started making huge pots of chili with cornbread and hot tamales and the tradition has continued for over 30 years. As you can see in the background, the food inspector approves. :)

Speaking of Lily, she got a new sweater for Christmas.

And to all who read this blog: 
A wish for a safe Holiday season along with much love from all of us here on the Fraker Farm~ 
Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

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Friday "Festive" Fotos: I saw Lily kissing Santa Paws

Lily met Santa Paws for the first time a couple of weeks ago.... 
We took her to the local animal shelter to have some pictures taken with him. 
The shelter does this every year to help raise funds for their daily operation 
and we were more than happy to help, especially if it means finding good homes 
for all the poor doggies and kitties with no families of their own. 

When she first sat down beside him, all she wanted was to smell his beard. 
"Hmmm... whatcha been eatin'?"

She couldn't seem to get comfortable for a few seconds...

Then back to smelling the beard....

She got distracted by the sound of dogs barking...

But finally her inner supermodel kicked in and we got some good ones.

And our Christmas wish is for all the animals at Young-Williams Animal Center to find 
loving homes for the holidays. 

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A Dream Come True

Time sure flies... it's hard for me to believe that we've been living in our home for 8 years now.
All this time I have longed for my very own sewing/craft room. I'm certainly not complaining, because most of the time I've been fortunate to have a room with my sewing machine set up and ready to sew, but the spare bedroom it was in has always been shared with lots of other stuff- a kind of "catch-all" room; things that we didn't have space in the closet for and didn't want to throw away found their way into this room, at one point even a huge treadmill and stereo with CD collection were crammed in there as well.

A couple of months ago Hubby told me he would build some wall cabinets for me and help me paint, and my new sewing room would be ready just in time for my birthday. (Yep, I think I'll keep him. *swoon*)
So, after some planning and several trips to the local Goodwill with old clothes and what-nots, the room was cleaned out. The walls were painted and the cabinets started going up....

And now my dream has come true.
Here are the before and after pictures~

The "before" was a mess of this and that with no place to put anything, 
but now I have a place for my computer and large work...

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Friday Farm Fotos: Fog Ice

It's 8:00 a.m. and 20 degrees~ and a thick fog rolls in.

 Strange icy formations start to appear.

Ice forms on everything.... even the fence.

The coating looks almost fuzzy.

Lily is unimpressed with the fuzzy fence.
She has done her business (which probably has ice on it, too) and now she is ready to go back inside.

Edie, who loves the cold weather, thinks foggy fence ice is delicious.

Daisy thinks it is delightful! :)

Happy Friday!!!

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Autumn Scenes and Other Things

I have to say it out loud and let it soak in for a minute before I can grasp that it is already December.

It begins the season of no pasture for the sheep, with the exception of a green sprig here and there.

And the start of unexpected winter weather, like this snow the week of Thanksgiving.

Fall was pretty this year... Lily took time to pose in front of some leaves for me.

This time of year there aren't many outdoor chores to do, 
so I keep busy indoors where it's warm.
Mostly sewing..... 

I made a few things on my embroidery machine for our little nieces, who are 5 and 2~
a couple of trick or treat bags for Halloween:

And some Thanksgiving shirts, too.

We took our yearly trip to the apple orchard for my birthday in October....

Also for my birthday~ I finally got the sewing studio of my dreams; complete with robin-egg blue paint on the walls and brand new cabinets made by Hubby. *squeal*

I'll save the pictures and details for next time. ;)

Oh, and I went to market and bought a piggy.... 

Happy Tuesday!

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Happy Thanksgiving....

Hubby and I and the critters are still alive and kicking and all is well.
And thanks to those of you who have checked in on me.
After an unexpected blog break, I will be back next week with some updates. I promise.
Until then.... have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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A long time coming....

So much time has gone by.... where do I start? If anyone is still out there, I'll just say for the record that although I've been away from my blog for what seems like forever... I never forgot about it- or all my blog friends either.
I'll try to give an update on what's been going on around the Fraker Farm for the past year... I almost always talked to my dad several times a week, and in February of 2016 I had tried to call my dad for a couple of days but he never answered his phone. It was not unusual for him to not to answer on the first few tries because sometimes he just didn't hear the phone ring or he was outside when I called, but he always called me back after seeing my number on his caller ID. When he didn't return my calls, I started to worry. I drove to his house to check on him the next morning (I live almost an hour away) and found him on the floor. He had been there for at least 24-36 hours, judging by the condition of his clothes. He was alive, but very disoriented and dehydrated. It was terribly sad to see him in that condition....
After a week in the hospital and another two weeks at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in Knoxville, my husband and I brought him...

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January, February....

Time has a way of getting by without realizing.....
I haven't written anything on here since the first of January, and now I'm wondering now where the last seven weeks have flown to. *Sigh*

Everyone around here is okay, including the critters; but the weather sure has been keeping us on our toes lately. 
For instance, this was what it looked like here last Thursday~

And yesterday? It was 74 degrees and thunderstorms. 

Warm enough that even the bees came out of their winter slumber 
and were venturing away from the hive, looking for water.

A few weeks ago everything was covered over with ice as the temperatures stayed in single digits and teens here for several days.... here I am trying to thaw the sheep's water out with a torch.

The sheep did not like my torch and ran out immediately. 
(No doubt fearing I would blow up the barn...)

The chickens got to stay inside for a few nights in the Holiday Hen (laundry room) 
when the temperatures were near zero.
As you can see, Lily is checking on them to see if the accommodations were to their liking. 
(She did this every few minutes until I finally had to close the door.)

The weather has been a great excuse for spending lots of time in my new sewing...

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Final Farm Fotos of 2013: A Look Back

Since this is the last Friday of 2013, I thought it would be fitting to take a look back at the farmy highlights from this past year. Last Christmas Hubby gave me a brand new camera and I didn't realize just how many pictures I'd taken with it until I went back into my archives. I ended up spending a couple of hours just looking through them all, enjoying the change in the seasons through the lens of my camera.

Lots of spring rains brought the pasture out early, and the sheep couldn't wait to start chowing down after eating dry hay all winter. This picture was from April and the wildflowers were popping up everywhere. That was perfectly fine with the sheep, they just ate them too. :)

Speaking of the sheep, they made it through 2013 very well, with the exception of me getting a late start on shearing them. Poor Tiny had to suffer through the humiliation having his wool halfway off when the clippers fell apart in my hand. The job was soon finished once the clippers were fixed, but I'm sure he was not happy about the other sheep laughing at his half-done hairdo.
(Which I have no doubt they did.)

Also in the spring~ fuzzy bottoms were hatched. *squeeeeeal*

Summer of 2013 will be...

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I Love A Mystery!

A part of every day's chore list is to set out feed at the pond for the ducks,
and also to feed our fish.

We have a few of theses enormous gold fish in our pond.
They've lived here for years and years.
Originally there were a few small goldfish,
who grew and grew and had babies.
Then their babies grew and grew and had more babies.

We keep the fish food in a metal trash can in the duck hut by the pond.
Over the weekend we noticed that the trash can lid was off 
and lying by the trash can each morning that we stopped by to feed the fish.

Was a bear visiting the duck hut?
Doubtful, because not much of the fish food was gone.
In order to solve the mystery, we hung a game camera on the front of the trash can.
We also put a large rock on top of the can to discourage the would-be thief.

 Saturday night...

Sunday night...

Monday night...

Tuesday night...

Wednesday night...

You can't blame a fellow for trying!

With woods surrounding all sides of our farm,
we have our share of wildlife.
I love seeing wild animals, but prefer not to have to feed them all.
We secure feed in locked barrels so that we have enough to feed our own critters.

We have another game camera on our platform tent in the woods.
There is a...

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Vicious Pig? And a Request....

Yesterday afternoon chores led me out into the pasture to look for the pigs.
I had found the sheep in the pig house enjoying the shade,

but the pigs were no where to be found.

I called and called....but no pigs.

I looked across the expanse of the pasture...no pigs.

There were, however, three of these little fellows playing in the shade of the lower end of the pasture.
You've got to admit... babies are adorable, no matter the species.

And although groundhogs are not a favored species amongst farmers,
(because of the gi-normous holes that they dig)
I will leave these little guys alone.

It seems their burrow is somewhere in the woods as there is no hole in the pasture.
However, if we start finding big holes that can break horses' legs, we may have to have a little talk!

Check out how big this little fellow's nose is!
"The better to smell you with, my dear."

I called the pigs again...still no answer.
I walked up closer to the barn so that I could see the furthest end of the pasture....

Safe and sound...and maybe just a little hard of hearing...
I can't believe that they would ever ignore me!!

By the way, there were some subcontractors here to mark the area for new internet service (yay!)

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Busy Days and Hubbs' Bucket List

Yesterday was a very busy day on the farm!
The morning started with a visit from the farrier.
All of my precious four-leggers were well behaved...
they make me a proud Mama!

(Photo from a winter's farrier visit.  No one is in long sleeves these days....including the horses!)
We are in the midst of a heat wave right now.
Everyone seeks out a place in the shade.
Thankfully, everyone gets along so well...
so sharing the shade is never an issue.

I picked our cherry trees and have enough for a good batch of sour cherry jam.
(now to get the pits out of those cherries!)
Today I will pick Dr. Becky's trees as well.

We had a special farm visit from our favorite girls, Maggie and Macy (and some of their friends).

You might remember them from last summer...
they raised those four white chickens and brought them to the farm,
only for us to discover they were ALL roosters!
And what a saga that was.

Yes, that is Macy, above, feeding a chicken Ritz crackers that she holds between her lips.
(She has done this for years...so far so good, she has never been pecked.)

Maggie and Macy celebrate the end of school each summer with a trip to the farm.
These two are natural farm girls, through and through.
(Maggie is in...

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Beautiful Mornings

I am most definitely a morning person.
Rising early and heading out to see the critters is my favorite thing.

(Moll gives the best lower back massages!)

I'm not a coffee drinker... ( I am energized enough without caffeine)
I just wake up ready to go!

There is so much happening in the mornings.
As the sun rises, the donkeys start to bray.
The roosters crow.
The guineas fly down from their roosting spot.

The sheep and pigs are "baaaa-ing" and grunting, ready to go out to pasture.
The horses are pacing along the dry lot fence...
ready for their trek to the upper pastures.

The dogs run through the farmyard wrestling and chasing.

The garden glistens with dew.

The air is clear (quite often, of late, freshly washed from the previous night's storms).
The world is alive and abuzz... and I feel right at home!

For the past several days it has been quite chilly in the morning (in the 50's)...
unseasonably cool.
Everyone feels energized on these mornings...
especially the horses as they gallop off to graze in the upper most pasture.
I wanted to share this video with you... 
so you can see how happy a cool morning makes everyone...

Don't Red and Ollie look great?
They seem to be at the perfect weight...
which is no...

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Why Is Everyone So Tired?

Brown Sammie would have you believe that he is a very old, tired dog.
Over the years we've had Dr. Becky draw blood to test for all sorts of maladies...
afraid that there was a reason for his lethargy.

The results are always normal.

Whenever we go out for chores, Sam begs to ride in the gator.

At times he jumps in preemptively, 
just in case we were thinking of going somewhere.

He'd never want to be left alone.

In fact, if I leave him in the house without closing all of the sliding doors,
he will claw his way through the screens to get outside with us.
(See why his other name is Bad Sammie?)

I re-screen at least three doors each summer... not my most favorite job,
although at this point I am quite proficient at it!

He hitches a ride in the gator and then parks himself wherever we are...
and sleeps.

I have come to the conclusion that he is just a lazy dog.

Hubbs always says "Sammie is just conserving energy."
Maybe he's right....

Meanwhile back at the house....

Oh, no.... not you, too!!

 Ivy has learned to follow Sam's lead.

Lazy kitty!

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Moonbeam's Big Test

Early every morning we walk the horses up to the upper pastures.
It takes three trips...

two "Littles"...
and then, two ponies.

Typically, a few dogs and turkeys follow along, as well.
If Hubbs and I work together it still requires two trips.

We've been wondering what would happen if I led the Littles,
and he led the ponies,
and we let Moonbeam go by himself, without a halter.

We tried the grand experiment on Sunday morning.
They had been out in the pasture for several hours during the cool of the morning.
By 10:30 it was getting buggy and hot...
time to go back to the barn for their chow (vitamin/mineral supplement) and fly masks.

Hubbs, led the Littles back to the barn....

and then came back for the ponies.

The plan was to open the gate of the pasture after he had the ponies haltered,
and just let Moonbeam free.

Here is the big test:

What a good boy!
I am pretty sure that any one of my horses would do the same.
They hate to be separated from their family.

One thing is sure, however, I would not try this experiment in the morning
when I first let them out.
With all that good hay growing all around, who knows where he would end up!

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A Day With The Murphys

Somedays you wake up and you can feel something different in the air.
It's nothing to do with the weather.
It's more like a feeling that things are a little off balance...
out of kilter.

Yesterday was one of those days.
With a long to-do list, we set out early to get started.
As Murphy's Law states...."what can go wrong, will go wrong."
I don't usually believe this... 
however on a day that feels a little out of whack,
it was most certainly true!
Our woes included a flat gator tire (later fixed),
a missing wheel from our large tractor's mower deck (new part ordered),
amongst several other moments of utter frustration.

By noon, it had become the kind of day that makes one want to go back to bed.
But... this is life on a farm, in the country.
Projects are often re-thought as roadblocks are thrown in the way.

And for all the little imperfections that life throws at you on a daily basis,
you have to look for all the amazing perfection that exists 
just a little bit beyond your own personal space.

We looked.
And we found it... all around us.
We consciously let go of the morning's vertigo and re-set our world.
A walk through the fields of our farm in search of wild raspberries

soon smoothed over all of the...

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Around the Barn...

We awoke to a 58 degree, blue-skied day yesterday...
a perfect start to the longest day of the year!

Morning chores were started at 5:30...
finished by seven.
I spent some time in the garden weeding and found this...

Yes, ole Mrs. Hoppity has made her nest right in the middle of the potatoes.

I actually knew there was a nest here
because Sammy was walking around the day before with a baby bunny in his mouth.
He spit it out when I yelled at him and the bunny hopped into the barn.
Hubbs rescued the bunny from the barn and placed it back in my garden box.

So, how do you like that?
Seems a little strange that we would be placing rabbit babies back into the garden...
but what else could we do?
They are, after all, just babies!
And, as I said before... I planted enough for an army...so why not share with
some cute fuzzy bunnies!
I know... it might make no sense... but it does to me.

There are tons of babies around these days.
Mr. and Mrs. Barn Swallow come back to nest in this nest every summer.
They have at least two batches of chicklets.
This batch is ready to leave the nest, now.

I interrupted flight school later in the morning

 and was
reprimanded severely by both parents.

Tuesday was freedom day for...

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Jammin' With The Pigs

This is my reward for a day spent...
picking, pitting, jamming and canning!

Yes, it's Cherry/Berry season on the farm.

The strawberries are ripe.
The blueberries are just ripening.

The black raspberries have been picked (first round...several to go.)

The cherries have been picked and made into sour cherry jam.

Today we will pick the gooseberries and get them into the freezer.

At the end of the day when the kettles have been washed and the kitchen is back in order 
once again, I head out to visit with my girls, Ginger and MaryAnn.
It's cool in the pig yard; the afternoon sun long ago disappeared behind the woods.
After a long day of grazing, 

the pigs are ready to lay down with me and rest.

Bobby approaches from one side of the pig yard, as our
barn kitty, Moll eyes him warily.
Normally she would be visiting with the pigs and me.
But, with Bobby in the vicinity, she stays away.
Bobby has a way of intimidating the other cats...
but certainly not the pigs.

The pigs are comfortable with both cats and vice versa.

This scene is the most peaceful one on the farm and one that I cherish.
These two girls are extremely sociable and very bonded to me.

They are gentle and loving and completely tolerant.
I clean...

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First Day of Summer Garden Tour

Happy first day of Summer!
Shall we spend it in the garden?
My garden is one of my happy places.
(one of many)

Arriving at the garden each morning,
while the dew is glistening like crystals in the rising sun, is delicious.

With the sun low in the sky, the green of the growing veggies
and the vegetation on the ground is intense... almost electrified.

Just across the lane, in the woods is a Baltimore Oriole singing its sweet song...
my morning serenade.
A chorus of song birds provide back-up, while our resident mockingbird
tries to out-sing them all.

It's hard to believe...
but, overnight things have grown just a little bigger than they were the day before.
The perfect mixture of sun and rain (and a little watering to help out) has made
this the best garden yet.

It's heaven, I tell you.
I wish you could come with me on my morning tour through the garden.

This year I am having a love affair with my garden.
In previous years it was a cross...sort of a love/hate relationship.
Previously it was always a losing battle with weeding.
This year....ahhh, what a difference.

Planting grass between the boxes (along with the weeds) has been a God-send.
No longer do I fret about what is growing on the ground.
Now I...

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